Best Practices to Build a Performing Media Buying Department

Benjamin Perrin is Senior Media Buyer, based in Singapore. He is working from Billy Mobile’s Asian office. He has more than 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing and Media Buying. Ben is now in charge of boosting the media buying activity in Billy Mobile through different DSPs. For that, he is sharing his experience with a new talented Media Buying team, setting up processes that will make the Media Buying campaigns’ revenue soar.

To provide a better service and reinforce partnerships with advertisers, Billy Mobile has made the decision to build its own media buying department. Our main challenges during the first months were to recruit the right team, establish effective processes and choose the right technology. Today, our media buying team is able to deliver premium and fully controlled traffic, fraud free leads and high RPU subscribers to our advertiser, but it was no piece of cake! Let’s try to summarize the key steps towards building a strong Media Buying department.

Recruit the right Media Buying team 

One of the main challenges is to build a team of experts in charge of this sensitive task: invest company money and be profitable! Media buying requires excellent analytic skills and a very organized mind.
To buy traffic on CPC or CPM and spend real-time money requires a lot of discipline and concentration. One small mistake could have big consequences so there is no room for amateurship! It’s very important to find trustworthy senior profiles, with strong expertise and past successful experiences in the PPC world. Media buyers need to be committed and ready to work hard: campaigns require monitoring and sometimes optimization outside working hours (money never sleeps). Make sure to line up expectations before hiring someone!

Organize the team: processes and tasks division

I would recommend to put each media buyer in charge of 8 – 15 traffic sources. It can vary depending on the budget spent by each of them. All of the traffic sources don’t have to be active all the time (it depends on the opportunity) but it’s important to put them in charge of specific platforms.
You may give your team members targets in terms of budget; in order to make sure new offers are tested enough and consequently invest in the profitable ones.
Also, you should establish monthly goals in terms of profit for your media buyers. There might be external factors explaining why they under or over-achieve… but it’s important to set goals. And for you, as a team leader, to detect who has the best results and why!
The last thing is to make sure that your team members can back up each other from time to time (if someone is sick, on leaves or in the middle of the jungle with 0 signal). You should also value internal communication: for example, if an offer stops converting, communication needs to be fast in order to pause the affected campaigns before losing too much money or if an offer starts to pick up, all buyers need to test it on their respective DSP’s in order to scale up the numbers. Media buying is a lot about grabbing opportunity when there is one.

Find the right tracker: create a good working environment

I would recommend spending time choosing a good tracker because this is where you are going to centralize all your campaigns and data. This is also the tool that your team will use for absolutely everything: campaign building, analysis, optimization and reporting.
Depending on the type of offers you are promoting (CPA, CPI, CPL/ e-commerce, mobile subscription, app install), some are more relevant than others. I’m promoting mostly Mobile subscription offers. This is direct response marketing and the funnel is usually very simple (2 clicks max before conversion). There are a lot of  decent trackers for that in the industry: Voluum, Adsbridge, Thrive, Funnel Flux, etc., all of them with their pros and cons. In Billy Mobile, we have our own private tracker system that is more suitable to our individual needs.
Let’s sum up what are the main requirements for a performing tracker:

  • A user friendly interface: your team is going to spend hours looking at data, so better if they are comfortable with the interface.
  • Fast interface & Fast redirections: because… time is money! A fast interface is key, again, the tracker will be used by your team for almost all their tasks and a buggy interface could quickly become a nightmare. Fast redirection because fast loading time can make a difference in your campaigns conversion rate.
  • Security: we are talking about sensitive data here, so it has to be hosted on secure servers.
  • An advanced campaign builder: possibility to set up the whole funnel (landers + final landing page), possibility to set up rules (e.g : IOS traffic goes to this offer, Android users goes to that offer and between 00.00 and 6 am I’ll show a different offer…), possibility to set up a cap for each offer and redirect to other offers after the caps are reached, possibility to do automatic optimizations (e.g : if the CR is lower than X.XX%, I’d automatically switch to another offer…).
  • An efficient alert system recommending to take action (e.g : you reached 90% of the cap for this offer, your conversion rate has dropped by 50% for this campaign etc…)
  • A cross-platform system: good to have a mobile app to monitor the results and be able to do some changes when not at home.

Work closely with the other departments

To conclude, I’d recommend you to be proactive and communicative at your work. Speak with your colleagues from the Advertisers Team: give feedback about the offers when something runs specially good or bad, but also request it about the quality of your sources. Remember that happy advertisers will be eager to increase their budgets, raise their payout and give you exclusive offers. To have a fluid daily communication with your Account Managers in the different DSP’s is also a key to get fast campaign approvals, bid recommendations, traffic estimations, etc.
To reach the goals set by the Advertisers, Billy Mobile combines perfectly this Media Buying work with affiliate traffic, all optimized by our proprietary technology.

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